Design Principles for Visual Communication, CACM, April 2011

Maneesh Agrawala, Wilmot Li, Floraine Berthouzoz


Visual communication via diagrams, sketches, charts, photographs, video, and animation is fundamental to the process of exploring concepts and disseminating information. The most effective visualizations capitalize on the human facility for processing visual information, thereby improving comprehension, memory, and inference. Such visualizations help analysts quickly find patterns lurking within large data sets and help audiences quickly understand complex ideas. Our work aims to identify domain-specific design principles, instantiating them within automated visualization design systems that enable non-designers to create effective visual displays. While other researchers have considered specific ways to use cognitive design principles to generate visualizations we present in this article a general, three-stage approach for creating visualization design systems.


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